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Bach's best known motets including Jesu, meine Freude on a disc that celebrates rather than mourns.
Repertoire: Six Motets, BWV225-230
Artists: Nederlands Kamerkoor/ Peter Dijkstra
Label: Channel Classics CCS SA 27108
Most of these wonderful motets have funerary associations, but they are certainly not depressing to listen to. The longest and best-known is the beautifully symmetrical ‘Jesu, meine Freude’, BWV227, its central fugue here attractively light and airy. The Dutch conductor Peter Dijkstra thins out the texture elsewhere in the piece by assigning some passages to solo voices. He does the same in ‘Singet dem Herrn’, BWV225, the choir’s chorale answered by a solo quartet. In ‘Fürchte dich nicht’, BWV228, where Bach skilfully superimposes a chorale for the sopranos on the fugue for the other voices, there’s a real spring in the music’s step. ‘Lobet den Herrn’, BWV230, is also included: probably spurious, it’s still worth hearing, especially when sung with such vitality as it is here by the Nederlands Kamerkoor.